Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Memory

"It's what each of us sows, and how, that gives to us character and prestige. Seeds of kindness, goodwill, and human understanding, planted in fertile soil, spring up into deathless friendships, big deeds of worth, and a memory that will not soon fade out. We are all sowers of seeds - and let us never forget it!" - George Matthew Adams

"Youth is a cause of hope for three reasons... And these three reasons may be gathered from the three conditions of the good which is the object of hope - namely, that it is future, arduous and possible... For youth has much of the future before it, and little of the past; and therefore since memory is of the past, and hope of the future, it has little to remember and lives very much in hope. Again, youths, on account of the heat of their nature, are full of spirit, so that their heart expands, and it is owing to the heart being expanded that one tends to that which is arduous; therefore youths are spirited and hopeful. Likewise they who have not suffered defeat, nor had experience of obstacles to their efforts, are prone to count a thing possible to them. Therefore youths, through inexperience of obstacles and of their own shortcomings, easily count a thing possible, and consequently are of good hope." -

"Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, and the council-chamber of thought." - Giambattista Basile, aka Giovan Battista Basile

"Memory seldom fails when its office is to show us the tombs of our buried hopes." - Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington, Lady Blessington, born Margaret Power

"How strange are the tricks of memory, which, often hazy as a dream about the most important events of a man's life, religiously preserve the merest trifles." - Richard Francis Burton, fully Sir Richard Francis Burton

"There is no memory with less satisfaction in it than the memory of some temptation we resisted." -

"It is children only who enjoy the present; their elders either live on the memory of the past or the hope of the future." -

"The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour." -

"How are such an infinite number of things placed with such order in the memory, notwithstanding the tumult, marches, and counter-marches of the animal spirits?" - Jeremy Collier

"Vanity plays lurid tricks with our memory." - Joseph Conrad, born Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski

"To make a man happy, fill his hands with work, his heart with affection, his mind with purpose, his memory with useful knowledge, his future with hope, and his stomach with food. The devil never enters a man except one of these rooms be vacant." - Frederick Evan Crane

"They teach us to remember; why do not they teach us to forget? There is not a man living who has not, some time in his life, admitted that memory was as much of a curse as a blessing." - Francis Alexander Durivage

"Mental activity, which works in its way from the memory-image to the production of identity of perception via the outer world, merely represents a roundabout way to wish-fulfillment made necessary by experience. Thinking is indeed nothing but a substitute for the hallucinatory wish; and if the dream is called a wish-fulfillment, this becomes something self-evident, since nothing but a wish can impel our psychic apparatus to activity." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"A teacher who can arouse a feeling for one single good action, for one single good poem, accomplishes more than he who fills our memory with rows and rows of natural objects, classified with name and form." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The memory of past favors, is like a rainbow, bright, vivid, and beautiful, but it soon fades away. The memory of injuries is engraved on the heart, and remains forever." - Thomas Haliburton, fully Thomas Chandler Haliburton, pseudonym "Sam Slick"

"The memory and conscience never did, nor never will, agree about forgiving injuries." - Charles Montagu Halifax, 1st Earl of Halifax, Lord Halifax

"There is no perfect knowledge which can be entitled ours, that is innate; none but what has been obtained from experience, or derived in some way from our senses; all knowledge, at all events, is examined by these, approved by them, and finally presents itself to us firmly grounded upon some preexisting knowledge which we possessed: because without memory there is no experience, which is nothing else than reiterated memory; in like manner memory cannot exist without endurance of the things perceived, and the thing perceived cannot remain where it has never been." - William Harvey

"For... what liberty is; there can no other proof be offered but every man’s own experience, by reflection on himself, and remembering what he useth in his mind, that is, what he himself meaneth when he saith an action... is free. Now he that reflecteth so on himself, cannot but be satisfied... that a free agent is he that can do if he will, and forbear if he will; and that liberty is the absence of external impediments. But to those that out of custom speak not what they conceive, but what they heard, and are not able, or will not take the pains to consider what they think when they hear such words, no argument can be sufficient, because experience and matter of fact are not verified by other men’s arguments, but by every man’s own sense and memory." - Thomas Hobbes

"I found death to be a simple shift in consciousness. It was painless, instantaneous and nothing to be feared. In fact, it felt more natural not to breath than to breathe. It was wonderful not to 'wear' a body. I had complete mobility, perfect memory and knowledge. I was free! I found no fear in dying. The fear came for me when I realized that I was still alive, and I didn't 'stay dead'.You don't lose your cravings or addictions in dying, but I found that you do lose your ability to satisfy them. The opportunities that existed before are no more. Whatever are your attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, ideas, feelings, expectations or apprehensions...that's what you'll wear and that's what you'll be. They become your body and your world. No more games. No more secrets. No more cover-up. You become what you really are! We are in a condition of our own creation. When we die we reap our own harvest." - Phyllis Huffman

"Custom is the great guide of human life. It is that principle alone which renders our experience useful to us, and makes us expect, for the future, a similar train of events with those which have appeared I the past. Without the influence of custom, we should be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses. We should never know how to adjust means to ends, or to employ our natural powers in the production of any effect. There would be an end at once of all action, as well as of the chief part of speculation." - David Hume

"The true art of memory is the art of attention." -

"We frequently fall into error and folly, not because the true principles of action are not known, but because for a time they are not remembered; he may, therefore, justly be numbered among the benefactors of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences that may early be impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to occur habitually to the mind." -

"How necessary it is for a liar to have a good memory." - Hugh Latimer

"The knowledge of our own being we have by intuition. The existence of a God, reason clearly makes known to us, as has been shown. The knowledge of existence of any other thing we can have only by sensation: for there being no necessary connection of real existence with any idea a man hath in his memory; nor of any other existence but that of God with the existence of any particular man: no particular man can know the existence of any other being but only when, by actual operating upon him, it makes itself perceived by him. For, the having the idea of anything in our mind, no more proves the existence of that thing, than the picture of a man evidences his being in the world, or the visions of a dream make thereby a true history." - John Locke

"Practical application is the only mordant which will set things in the memory. Study without it is gymnastics, and not work, which alone will get intellectual bread." - James Russell Lowell

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart." - Jean Baptiste Massillon

"Nothing so deeply imprints anything in our memory as the desire to forget it." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"A great memory does not make a mind, any more than a dictionary is a piece of literature." - Charles B. Newcomb

"Many a man fails to become a thinker for the sole reason that his memory is too good." -

"A teacher should give his pupil opportunity for independent practice without suggestions from himself, and thus set upon him the stamp of indelible memory in its purest form." - Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew NULL

"Memory, in point of fact, is impeded by the body: even as things are, addition often brings forgetfulness; with thinning and clearing away, memory will often revive. The soul is stability; the shifting and fleeting thing which body is can be a cause only of its forgetting not of its remembering - Lethe stream may be understood in this sense - and memory is a fact of the soul." - Plotinus NULL

"Good things have to be engraved on the memory; bad ones stick there of themselves." - Charles Reade

"Happiness! That's nothing more than good health and a poor memory." - Albert Schweitzer

"It is one thing... to remember, another to know. To remember is to safeguard something entrusted to your memory, whereas to know, by contrast, is actually to make each item your own, and not to be dependent on some original an be constantly looking to see what the master said." -

"To be rich, to be famous? do these profit a year hence, when other names sound louder than yours, when you lie hidden away under ground, along with the idle titles engraven on your coffin? But only true love lives after you, follows your memory with secret blessings or pervades you, and intercedes for you. Non omnis moriar, if, dying, nor am lost and hopeless living, if a sainted departed soul still loves and prays for me." - William Makepeace Thackeray

"Curiosity is as much the parent of attention, as attention is of memory." - Richard Whately

"At any rate it is now quite clear that neither future nor past actually exists. Nor is it right to say that there are times, past, present and future. Perhaps it would be more correct to say: there are three times, a present of things past, a present of things present, a present of things future. For these three exist in the mind, and I find them nowhere else: the present of things past is memory, the present of things present is sight, the present of things future is expectation." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men." - Bill Beattie

"The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men." - James Beattie

"Be more prudent for your children than perhaps you have been for yourself. When they, too, are parents they will imitate you, and each of you will have prepared happy generations who will transmit, together with your memory, the worship of your wisdom." - Edmond La Beaume Cherbonnier

"If the memory is more flexible in childhood, it is more tenacious in mature age; if childhood has sometimes the memory of words, old age has that of things, which impress themselves according tot he clearness of the conception of the thought which we wish to retain." - Carl Victor de Bonstetten

"By the time the child can draw more that scribble, by the age of four or five years, an already well-formed body of conceptual knowledge formulated in language dominates his memory and controls his graphic work. Drawings are graphic accounts of essentially verbal processes. As an essentially verbal education gains control, the child abandons his graphic efforts and relies almost entirely on words. Language has first spoilt drawing and then swallowed it up completely." - Karl Bühler, fully Karl Ludwig Bühler

"Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies. It wanders perturbedly through the halls and galleries of the memory, and is often heard again, distinct and living as when it first displaced the wavelets of the air." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart; therefore forget not to say often, I have all I have ever enjoyed." -

"It is a good thing to read books of quotations. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more." -

"Who knows what true loneliness is - not the conventional word but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion." - Joseph Conrad, born Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski

"One ought to have a good memory when he has told a lie." - Pierre Cornielle

"Wolves lose their teeth but not their memory." - Thomas Draxe

"Memory is a paradise out of which fate cannot drive us." - Alexander Dumas

"They teach us to remember; why not teach us to forget? There is not a man living who has not, some time in his life, admitted that memory was as much of a curse as a blessing." - Francis Alexander "F.A." Durivage, wrote under pen name "Old Un"